Banking and FinanceHeadlineLeadership

Morgan Stanley just named a new operating chief for its tech and operations division that highlights the rising profile of the group within the bank

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  • Morgan Stanley has promoted Peter Akwaboah to COO of its tech and operations division.
  • Akwaboah, a managing director, was previously global head of shared services and banking operations.
  • The internal Wednesday announcement follows a leadership shuffle within the division last fall.

Morgan Stanley has named a new chief operating officer for its division that oversees technology and operations, Insider has learned.

Rob Rooney, the head of technology, operations, and firm resilience, announced Peter Akwaboah will serve as the new COO of the group in a memo sent to employees on Wednesday viewed by Insider.

Akwaboah will oversee operations and technology strategy for the firm, including a team of 300 people, and report directly to Rooney, the source said. A key focus of Akwaboah will be on transforming how the bank delivers its offerings and services to both its clients and employees, the source said.

He is a managing director who was previously global head of shared services and banking operations. He’ll replace Jason Dandridge, who has left the firm, according to a source familiar with the situati

Akwaboah was the chief operating officer for global operations before he oversaw shared services and banking operations. He also managed the bank’s settlement and payments infrastructure, and chairs the bank’s payment risk steering committee.

“He brings significant experience, knowledge, and leadership skills to this strategically important role having led teams and worked across technology and operations functions during the course of his career,” Rooney said in a memo reviewed by Insider.

Akwaboah joined Morgan Stanley as COO for operations in December 2015 after a decade at the Royal Bank of Scotland. Morgan Stanley’s technology, operations, and firm resilience division includes more than 20% of the firm’s global workforce, or some 13,600 employees.

The announcement follows a leadership shuffle within the division last fall, when the bank named Katherine Wetmur to head of technology and operations risk and Sigal Zarmi, who was formerly the bank’s head of transformation, to the role of international chief information officer.

Morgan Stanley, like other banks increasingly using digital tools for clients, particularly during the pandemic, has doubled down on efforts to prevent cyber fraud.

Jen Easterly, Morgan Stanley’s head of firm resilience and what the bank calls its “fusion resilience centre,” which defends the firm and clients from cyber threats, was formerly an intelligence officer in the US Army and has served as the deputy director for counterterrorism at the National Security Agency. Easterly joined the firm in 2017.

In addition to his technology- and operations-focused role, Akwaboah is co-chair of the Morgan Stanley Black Employee Network, an internal group that aims to support and advocate for Black employees.

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